School Defense Worthy of O.J.

20 10 2006

So O.J. Simpson is penning a confession in which there’s no admission of guilt? And the many millions he’ll make peddling it won’t go to his victims’ families per the civil judgment against him, because he can remain bankrupt as he rakes it all in?

Just more evidence that true details can paint a false picture, or true pictures we reject as unreal, anyway.

Public education research most days isn’t much more useful or definitive than our so-called justice system. Maybe money and power are always the same old story. Maybe breaking news is just broken, and good news isn’t any more real than bad until we somehow get wise enough to face up to the difference.

AS a longtime subscriber, I have this Kappan in hard copy if anyone wants context (or cartoons!) to go along with this —Kappan cover Oct 2006

The 16th Bracey Report on
The Condition of Public Education

When political considerations define the agenda for or shape
the findings of research, the results can seem frustrating or silly —
but often the losers are students and teachers.

GERALD W. BRACEY is an associate for the High/Scope
Foundation, Ypsilanti, Mich. His most recent book is “Reading Educational Research: How to Avoid Getting Statistically Snookered” (Heinemann, 2006).

Bracy book cover

“Is this the way the world ends, not with a lie believed but truth disbelieved?”

Video Games & Education

20 10 2006

Deanne forwarded this link for our consideration:

Group: Video Games can reshape education

By BEN FELLER, AP Education WriterTue Oct 17 em>

Scientists call it the next great discovery, a way to captivate students so much they will spend hours learning on their own. It’s the new vision of video games.

The Federation of American Scientists — which typically weighs in on matters of nuclear weaponry and government secrecy — declared Tuesday that video games can redefine education.. . .

JJ’s UPDATE: Wow, this isn’t small potatoes. This is serious, world-changing stuff. Check out the FAS here to see some real policy leadership — not just politics but vision, substance, progress, and talk about intelligent design! — and see their potentially school-shatttering “Summit on Educational Games” report here:

The major findings are:

Many video games require players to master skills in demand by today’s employers. Video game developers have instinctively implemented many of the common axioms of learning scientists. They have used these approaches to help game players exercise a skill set closely matching the thinking, planning, learning, and technical skills increasingly demanded by employers in a wide range of industries.

Unfortunately, today’s testing programs fail to assess these types of skills despite widespread agreement that these are skills employers look for in employees. In addition to developing higher order skills, educational games and simulations hold promise for:

Read the rest of this entry »